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An image with the text The art of creative wellnessAntoinette Spicer is a second-year journalism student at the New Zealand Broadcasting School in Ōtautahi Christchurch. For her independent projects, she is creating a five-part podcast series on art initiatives and programmes that improve New Zealanders’ wellbeing. 

Antoinette became interested in this topic after she spent three months completing work experience as a communications intern at Arts Access Aotearoa. 

Antoinette Spicer, left, on the scene after the terrorist attack in Christchurch in March 2019“The work and stories I completed during this time not only inspired me but opened my eyes to many important art programmes and initiatives that help improve New Zealanders’ health and wellbeing,” Antoinette says.

“I didn’t even know that initiatives such as arts programmes in prisons and accessible performances existed.

“The importance of people having access to the arts is not always widely told in mainstream media. I hope my podcast will not only educate and inform people but help them to realise that the arts play an important role across many different areas, including health and wellbeing, and providing a sense of belonging.”

In the future, she hopes to work as an investigative journalist. She wants to give a voice to people who cannot easily tell their own stories themselves.

Improving New Zealanders’ mental health and wellbeing

The Art of Creative Wellness podcast explores art initiatives and projects that are improving New Zealanders’ mental health and wellbeing. The five-part podcast series covers creative spaces, art programmes in prisons, arts and accessible performances, art practices and programmes which respond to tragedy, and the funding model of arts initiatives in New Zealand.

In the first episode Antoinette investigates creative spaces – community organisations where people who experience barriers to participation can be creative and have access to the arts.

“People who attend creative spaces experience social interaction, increased confidence, improved wellbeing, an increase in creative skills, increased self-esteem and a sense of belonging,” Antoinette says.

The art of creative wellness

  • In episode one, Antoinette Spicer investigates creative spaces
  • In episode two, Antoinette Spicer examines the value of arts programmes from painting and drawing to ballet in New Zealand prisons
  • In episode three, Antoinette Spicer explores accessibility options that  improve access to the arts for everyone 

  • In episode four, Antoinette Spicer learns about the role of the arts following tragedy
  • In episode five, Antoinette Spicer explores what funding is available for for creative spaces




Giving voice to people to tell their stories



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